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Full text of "History And Human Relation"

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say that large areas of it are less capable of reduction to
regularity or law than many people would seem to wish.
History tends to differ in its whole organisation frqpi
anthropology because it gathers itself to such a degree
into stories about personalities. And Marxist history,
which sometimes seems to aspire to something like the
organisation of anthropology, surprises and shocks
many people because it looks less like life:—it is so much
a matter of process and schematisation, so little interested
in the individual.

The kind of history which has developed in our
civilisation and was handed down to the twentieth
century has clustered around personalities and we have
tended to think of it as organising itself into the form
of narrative* It resurre<#s particular periods, recon-
stitutes particular episodes, follows the fortunes and
discusses the decisions of individual people, and rejoices
to recover the past in its concreteness and particularity.
It does not limit its interests to the things that can be
reduced to law and necessity—a project more feasible
to those who direct their studies upon the materialistic
side of human beings and human purpose. It is more
interested in what is free, varied and unpredictable in die
actions of individuals; and the higher realms of human
activity—the art and the spiritual life of men—are not
inessentials, not a mere fringe to the story. The play
of personality itself is not a mere ornament in any case-
not a kind of cadenza or violin obligate—but is itself
a factor in the fundamental structure of history. The
historical process is so flexible that all the future would
have been different in a way that it is beyond the power